Interface (Vol 1 No 3)


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Interface (Vol 1 No 3) contains an article I authored that discusses the development of my ergonomics program while at Honeywell in Colorado Springs

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Interface (Vol 1 No 3)

  1. 1. A TechnicAl PublicATion of ASSe’S ergonomicS PrAcTice SPeciAlTy Volume 1 number 3 PAGE 4 ASSE The Next 100 Years D PAGE 8 TRAINING Proper Ergonomics D PAGE 10 ERGONOMICS From Nothing to Integrating Ergonomics & Sustainability D Best Practice Establishment of an PAGE 19 INJURIES Patient Care Ergonomics Ergonomics Program for HTSI-COS D By Keith OsbOrneA fter retiring from the workplace musculoskeletal disorders Army after 25 years of (WMSDs) each month and no real For a complete service, I was hired by We have estab- process to help lessen or eliminate Table of Contents Honeywell Technology lished an ergo- this trend. see page 3 Solutions Inc.-Colorado nomics/well- This level continued through 2004 ness lab in ourSprings (HTSI-COS) and began building, and until HTSI-COS chose to becomework in the facilities department. several safety an OSHA Voluntary ProtectionWhen I first arrived in 2003, no professionals Program (VPP) member. One of the from around key elements of inclusion was anergonomics program was available the Coloradoto employees to assess or correct Springs area ergonomics program with additionaldeficiencies in their workstations have toured emphasis on health and wellness our facility. initiatives within the company. Withor in their processes. Over the nextfew years, our company saw five the support of our management teamto seven complaints of potential continued on page 24 1 Interface 2011
  2. 2. administrator’s mEssaGE Another Great Year Ergonomics PracticE sPEcialty OffICErS Administrator A Jeremy Harris s we recognize another National (847) 277-4385 Ergonomics Month, I find it hard to believe that a year has gone by since we became Assistant Administrator a practice specialty. The Ergonomics DaviD BroDie (919) 368-1129 Practice Specialty continues to grow slowly, and we remain very active: we enhanced our newslet- Publication Coordinator ter to meet standards as a practice specialty, rec- Walt rostykus ognized our first Safety Professional of the Year, (503) 680-6521 sponsored speakers for concurrent sessions at Jeremy Harris Safety 2011 in Chicago, solicited several speakers ASSE STAff for Safety 2012 in Denver and launched fundrais- Staff Liaison krista sonneson ing efforts to offer a scholarship for our members. (847) 768-3436 It truly has been a remarkable year! I look forward to another great year. x Communications Specialist JolinDa Cappello Publication Design susan Carlson Ergonomics Practice Specialty Resources Interface is a publication of ASSE’s Ergonomics Practice Specialty, 1800 East Oakton St., Des Plaines, IL 60018, and is dis-Mentoring Services •Topic suggestions and interview tributed free of charge to members of the•Members Only (click Mentor requests Ergonomics Practice Specialty. The opinionsContacts) expressed in articles herein are those of the•ASSE staff Educational Resources author(s) and are not necessarily those of •EPS website ASSE. Technical accuracy is the responsibilityJob Search Assistance •SH&E Standards Digest of the author(s). Send address changes to the•Nexsteps •Special Issues & Best of the Best address above; fax to (847) 768-3434; or send•Local ASSE chapter Publication via e-mail to •Key Issues publicationCareer Resources Advertising policy •Interviews . . . Whereas there is evidence that products•ASSE’s Career Resources LinkedIn site used in safety and health programs, or by the •Business of Safety Committee•Career Resource Center public in general, may in themselves present •Nanotechnology Support Site hazards; and Whereas, commercial advertisingNetworking •Webinars of products may not depict the procedures or requirements for their safe use, or may depict•LinkedIn•Facebook Standards their use in some unsafe manner . . . the Board of Directors of ASSE directs staff to see •ANSI/ASSE SH&E Standards Informa-•ASSE’s social media sites that advertising in Society publications is war- tion Center ranted and certified by the advertiser prior toTechnical Questions/Advice •New standards publication, to assure that products show evi- dence of having been reviewed or examined•24/7 online question submission form •ASSE’s Standards Development for safety and health problems, and that no•Ergonomics Practice Specialty’s (EPS) Committee unsafe use and/or procedures are shown and/Volunteer Advisory Committee *Click any of the bulleted items to access or described in the addvertising. Such require- ments and acceptance of advertising by ASSE linked content.Publication Opportunities shall not be considered an endorsement or approval in any way of such products for any•Article submissions (earn COCs and win purpose. ASSE may reject or refuse any adver-a cash prize if you are the top article) tisement for any reason ASSE deems proper. 2 Interface 2011
  3. 3. contEnts Volume 1 • Number 3 PAGE 1 From nothing to BEst PracticE d By Keith Osborne PAGE 15 The author explains how Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc.- thE growing Colorado Springs improved not only its safety program, but also its ergonomics program and health and wellness initiatives. ProBlEm in Ergonomics: PAGE 7 Ergonomics For sElEcting oBEsity FlEEt & sErvicE vEhiclEs By Winnie Ip By Julia Brenner In traditional ergonomics programs, the primary goal is to adapt the workplace Humantech management consultants Kent Hatcher and Deepesh and tools to the capabilities of people. Desai have researched ways to improve the ergonomics of fleet This goal does not change when consid- and service vehicles. ering obese workers. d PAGE 19 PatiEnt carE Ergonomics By Mary Willa Matz Manual patient handling is the primary reason for PAGE 8 BEnd mE shakE mE: musculoskeletal timE to tEach adults injuries in patient care providers, and ProPEr Ergonomics the understanding of the impact of By Cathy White patient handling on the body leads to a Training is an essential element to ergonomics program success. clear understanding why this is so. The right training for the right people will ensure that your orga- nization has the skills and methods to effectively carry out key responsibilities and to achieve sustainable gains in the ergonomics program. PAGE 10 intEgrating Ergonomics & sustainaBility By Jessica Ellison & Danny Nou Ergonomics initiatives have many parallels with sustainability goals and can function effectively as an integrated program rather than as two distinct programs. connecTion Key Click on these icons for immediate access or bonus informationV Video W Website P PDF l Hot Link Ad Ad Link d Direct Link 3 Interface 2011
  4. 4. announcEmEnts By GeOrGe PearsOn, CSP, ARM The Next 100 Years A s we now begin our second century, ASSE branches, but also from still faces future challenges in improving the the Society at large. safety community. However, coming out of our There is also a value 100th-anniversary Professional Development proposition here in that Conference, I see many positive signs that indicate we employers with effec- have a very bright future. As the world’s oldest profes- tive health and well- sional society dedicated to protecting people, property ness programs have and the environment, there are many heartening indica- lower healthcare and tors, many of which come from our Council. In fact, workers’ compensation I am very optimistic, as we are poised for the next costs. hundred years, that our ability to support our growing Growth in the membership is strong. Common Interest We are fortunate our Society is vital and growth Groups (CIGs) has continues as we come out of the economic recession. been exceptional and beyond expectations. With 5,085 Even more encouraging is that membership retention members belonging to one or more of our four com- has increased 5 basis points from mon interest groups, our CIGs are among the most Volunteer mem- 87% last year to 92% this year. This active committees in the Society. Safety Professionals and the Latino Workforce (SPALW) continues itsbers and temporary proves safety professionals realize the value in ASSE membership, and outreach into Latin America with activity in Mexico workers assisted we are primed for greater progress. and Ecuador and plans to expand that into Panama, As economic times improve, our Columbia, Brazil and Argentina. Women in Safety with the BOK proj- nation’s industry base expands and Engineering (WISE) is completing its publication ect this summer. the global economy gains momen- honoring 100 women in safety. Young Professionals in SH&E (YP) has enjoyed additional memberships as tum. Being in a Society leadershipWith the growth in role, I look forward to the introduc- graduating student members become regular members. Blacks in Safety Engineering (BISE) has continued to membership, it is tionareas of globalopportunities inof the of additional growth, value grow and was able to award a scholarship at this year’s possible to the profession and fruition of our conference. The BOK project is on schedule. Keywords have accelerate the Body of Knowledge (BOK) project. Membership in the practice spe- been finalized. More than 1,000 keywords have project schedule cialties and branches has grown been submitted for inclusion and more are to come. Volunteer members and temporary workers assisted in parallel to the Society, and we and quantity of have every reason to believe that with the BOK project this summer. With the growth in membership, it is possible to accelerate the project available content. we will continue to grow through additional membership and partici- schedule and quantity of available content. pation opportunities. As of May 2011, we had 21,111 Looking forward to the next 100 years, I am posi- practice specialty members and 2,180 branch members. tive about COPS’s and the Society’s future. Dr. Darryl The Health & Wellness Branch was approved at the Hill, our departing Society president, reported in a Council on Practices and Standards (COPS) meet- farewell message to the Board, “Keep your goals very ing held at Safety 2011 and should contribute to our high, have a balance and enjoy your family. The future growth. The Health & Wellness Branch will create is bright.” x awareness and will educate its members to help shape attitudes and beliefs, thinking and behavior through a proactive, holistic approach to employee well-being, not just freedom from disease. This refers to an active process that aims to build and enhance an organiza- tion’s employee population, promoting habits and George W. Pearson, CSP, ARM behaviors that optimize health, social and emotional Vice President, ASSE Council on well-being. Two things will contribute to the Branch’s Practices & Standards (COPS) success: we are thinking outside the box by going beyond traditional ASSE boundaries, and we can draw new members not just from practice specialties and 4 Interface 2011
  5. 5. ASSE body of knowlEdgE New Member benefit!your source for sH&e answers and solutions Get started today visit
  6. 6. Welcome New Members! •Aleece Foxx •Christopher GatesW e want to thank everyone who has remained a loyal member of theErgonomics Practice Specialty (EPS) and wel- •Maureen Gillis, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics •Christopher Gongora, Diagnostic Laboratorycome the following members who recently Services Inc.joined. We are currently at 438 members and •George Gough, Occidental of Elk Hills Inc.growing. If you have any colleagues who might •George Gruetzmacher, Wisconsin State Laboratorybe interested in joining EPS, please contact of HygieneKrista Sonneson to request an information •Alejo Habal, New Safety Indexpacket. If you know anyone who might be •Jon Hamill, Oxy USAinterested in joining ASSE, please contact •David Hansoncustomer service. •Saundra Harris •Henry Ho •Richard Hofman•Katery Alfaro •Susan Holland•Robert Allen, Walt Disney Co. Worldwide Safety •Randy Huff, Ingersoll Rand•Brent Altemose, Sabre Health & Safety •Dana Hughes-Dawsey, Caterpillar Inc.•Manny Alviso, United Stationers Inc. •Wael Jamaan, Saudi Aramco•Joyce Anderson, Compliance Specialties Inc. •Miriam Joffe, Auburn Engineers•Mary Anderson, Honeywell International•Gwendolyn Arps, AON •Joseph Jones•Susan Barriball •James Kennedy, Alaska Fisheries Science Center•Felicia Beaulieu, Marine Corps, Quantico MCB, •Deepa Kundadka Safety Division •Bruce Lambert, B.A. Lambert Workplace•Raymond Blanco Performance•Eric Blankenheim, Blankenheim Services •Diane Lancon, NW Natural Gas•Vickie Brewster, Mike Monroney •Melanie Langlais Aeronautical Center •Michael Lim, Pacific Gas & Electric Co.•Raymond Brown, IESA LLC •Bernie Lynch•Cathy Burch, Frontier Pro Services •Brian Manges•Patrick Carley, American International College •Paul Marchand, APC by Schneider Electric•Allen Coppolo, Doncasters Inc. •Michael Mariscalco, QEI Engineers Inc.•Keith Crumpton, Lone Peak Conservation Center •Jenna Marshall•Robert Debner •Etta Mason, Southern California Edison•Michael Domingo Cruz, Pride Industries •Dean Maudlin, Just Ergonomics LLC•Kelly Doughty, Chevron •Ruth McCafferty•Sharon DuBois, Skagit County Risk Management •Kellie McNeil•Phan Duong-Ngo •Allison McPhee, Genzyme•David Ewanick •Danny Meekins, Ellwood Texas Forge Navasota•Suljo Fermic •Larry Mendoza, Howard Hughes Medical Institute•Lloyd Fischel —JFRC 6 Interface 2011
  7. 7. •Mark Mitchell, Alaska Railroad Corp. •Eric Schultz•Lee Mooney, Amgen •Lawrence J. Schulze, University of Houston•Brian Murphy, BRS Inc. •Judy Sehnal, Hartford•Paul Myers •Albert Shaw, Honeywell International•James Newberry, Island Insurance Co. Ltd. •Tom Stallings, ABB Power T&D•Daniel O’Farrell, EA Engineering •Edmund Sullivan, Middlebury College Science & Technology •Scott Swanson•Kay Parker Paul •Linda Tapp•Robb Patterson, Pfizer •Philip Taylor, Chevron Products Co.•Ellen Rader Smith, Ergo & Rehab Services •James Thatcher, EnCana Oil & Gas•Steven Ramiza, LAN Associates Inc. •Robert Thomas, Auburn University•Charles Raymond, Gray Insurance Co. •Jimmie Tullis•Deborah Read, ErgoFit Consulting Inc. •Walter Urbanski, Lafarge NA•Susan Reinhardt •Alan Weikert•Ian Renteria, Avon •Stephen Wolszczenski, Pepperidge Farms•June Robinson, Battelle Toxicology NW •Pamela Yates•Peggy Ross •Kristi Young, BP x•Karri Russ, Florida Power & Light Ergonomics for Selecting Fleet & Service Vehicles By Julia brennerW hen your workplace is a vehicle, ergonomics matter most. Humantech management consultants Kent Hatcher andDeepesh Desai have researched ways to improve the ergo- 5) Presence of full controls on the steering wheel optimizes driver attentiveness on the road and reduces reaches to the console.nomics of these atypical “offices” so that they do not get left To effectively retrofit vehicles, Desai suggests assessing theon the side of the road. risks already present and then developing viable and cost- Anthropometry, or the measurement of the size, weight effective solutions to create a business case for implementingand proportions of a human, is important to consider when them across all vehicles. Because thousands of vehicles areselecting fleet and service vehicles, Hatcher says. If a 4’11” already in circulation, a company should start by gaining sup-female and a 6’6” male do the same job, then the vehicle port from top management and by establishing a loss preven-must accommodate both body types. This requires adjust- tion plan and goals. from there, it can prioritize ergonomicable features and designing for extremes. The general rule of issues through workplace ergonomic risk assessments, developthumb, he says, is to design large for any clearances and small short-term and long-term improvement plans and then imple-for any reaches. When designing space for head room, for ment short-term improvements. “Test it and tweak it,” Desaiexample, design for the large male. When designing the verti- says. “You do not want to do it all and realize that you havecal reach to close the trunk, design for the small female. made a mistake.” Desai offers his top five recommendations The analysis of a vehicle should focus on manual material for field service and delivery vehicles:handling and interior comfort and posture, Hatcher adds. 1) Product storage: Position heavier, more frequentlyManual material handling includes features like interior trunk handled items in the comfort zone, between 38 in. and 49 in.width, height and depth, loading service height and depth, above the standing surface.force required to open the trunk and the vertical reach to 2) Appropriate handholds: retrofit grab handles with 30 in.close it. Hatcher offers his top five recommendations for sales in length and 1.25 in. in diameter.fleet vehicles: 3) Entering/exiting cab—step height: retrofit a retractable 1) Cargo deck (floor of trunk) height should be within rec- supplementary step.ommended guidelines for manual material handling, 33 in. to 4) Lift gates: Provide a pendant control to operate the lift38 in. above the standing surface. gate. 2) The cargo deck should be flush with the loading sill to 5) Rear-view camera: Ensure that vehicles are fitted with aprevent the need to lift and clear products from the cargo rear-view camera. Make sure the camera monitor is placed inarea. The total depth of the sill, or the horizontal reach, an optimal viewing distance, preferably on the dashboard.should be 18 in. for more information, click here. x 3) A higher driver’s seat height can ease ingress/egress from Julia Brenner is a communications intern with ASSE. She holds a jour-vehicle. nalism degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison. 4) Check the quality of visibility to the vehicle’s exteriorwhen using mirrors (rearview and side) as well as when check-ing blind spots. 7 Interface 2011
  8. 8. traininG By Cathy White, CpeBend Me Shake Me:Time to Teach AdultsProper Ergonomics E rgonomics training takes many forms, from gram based solely on awareness is not sustainable. The teaching employees correct postures to instruct- order of ergonomics training that people in key roles ing engineers about principles of design. While play has a major impact on the ergonomics program’s each training effort has different objectives, it is success. Education and training should then follow a important to provide the right type of knowledge with logical sequence in order to implement a program from the desired impact for the intended the leaders down to the employees: The order of ergo- audience. Training is anprogram element to ergonomics essential •Educate senior leaders with a business case for the ergonomics process. The intent of this education is tonomics training that success. The right training for the demonstrate the value of ergonomics for the organiza- people in key right people will the skills and organization has ensure that your tion to gain their sponsorship and to establish the ergo- nomics program’s goals. roles play has a methods to effectively carry out •Train the person or team responsible for manag- key responsibilities and to achieve ing the ergonomics program. This group will need to major impact on sustainable gains in the ergonomics gain the knowledge and skills necessary to deploy and the ergonomics program. providing employees Before sustain the ergonomics program. This group will need to be able to address difficult ergonomic challenges program’s success. with ergonomics training, the orga- brought to them by employees and managers. nization must first define the ergo- •Educate engineers on workplace design principles. nomics program’s support infrastructure. Key roles to Principles of workplace design related to manual define include the senior leaders of the organization, materials handling, hand tools and seated and standing the person or workstations should be reviewed with guidelines for Figure 1 A Working Height team responsible appropriate heights, reaches and clearances. for managing •Provide training to managers who are the interface That Is Too Low Will the ergonom- between employees and ergonomics team members. Force Awkward Postures ics program, In their roles, they will be the most influential people engineers who to impact employee safe work practices and behaviors to Handle the Load design the work and to provide assistance with the implementation on the Conveyor environment and the managers of of improvements identified by the ergonomics team. Provide coaching to affect work practices and behav- the workgroups iors and to improve workplace conditions. in the organi- After all roles are trained, employees then need to zation. Many be provided with ergonomics training to prepare and organizations empower them to identify potential ergonomic issues begin an ergo- in their workplace and to adjust the workplace or their nomics program work practices to control the issues. If unable to con- by providing trol the issues, they should be taught to escalate such general ergo- issues to their manager. nomics aware- Effective employee training is essential to a sustain- ness training to able ergonomics program. While computer-based train- their workgroup. ing has its place in a learning environment, it has been Although this proven that interactive training based on adult learning is simple to principles is effective in retaining knowledge. General implement, an ergonomics awareness training can be complemented ergonomics pro- with having all employees go through an ergonomics 8 Interface 2011
  9. 9. Figure 2: Example of Office sure they have the skills necessary to work safely. Training is most effective when it is interactive and Ergonomics Brochure fully involves workers. This training needs to be based on adult learning principles to retain the information received. Some suggestions to achieve this include: •Provide hands-on practice when new tools, equip- ment or procedures are introduced to the workforce. Being trained where they work, using the objects they typically lift and the equipment they use on the job helps employees relate to what they are being taught, rather than showing them a generic lifting video. •Use several types of visual aids of actual tasks in your workplace. Combine the use of pictures, hand- An ergonomics bro- outs, charts or videos. To supple- chure can consist ment the visual aids, you could compile or purchase an ergonomic of a pictorial repre- brochure of handy tips that can be posted at the office desk or in the sentation of proper work area for employees to review ergonomics design at their convenience. This increases the likelihood that good ergonomic and can be supple- practices will be adopted. mental with a writ- •Make sure that employees have learned what you are trying to ten description of teach them by having each one, or all of them demonstrate the proper ways to control risk operating techniques with the tools factors in that par- before leaving the class.assessment of their work area. This can be completed •Follow up with learners after ticular part of a team for shared work areas or by individual the training to make sure they arefor office workstations. This exercise facilitates a able to use the proper techniques on the job.deeper impression of ergonomics on each employee in An ergonomics brochure can consist of a pictoriala hands-on format. representation of proper ergonomics design and can An administrative option often used by companies be supplemental with a written description of waysto address an identified high-risk task is to train the to control risk factors in that particular group on the hazard of the task and to provide For a computer workstation, information regardingtraining on the appropriate way to perform the task chair adjustments, proper working height and loca-with a reduced likelihood of injury. Training all by tion of items in the computer workstation environmentitself, without making changes to the workplace, is are typical items to include in a handout. These canoften not effective in preventing injuries. If employees be posted at the computer workstation as a recurrentare taught “proper lifting techniques” and then sent reminder of proper work habits.out to work under conditions that do not allow them to Organizations that establish clearly defined rolesuse these techniques, the training is of no benefit. The and responsibilities and provide ergonomics training toworking area should be set up to allow for the proper ensure the capability to meet these responsibilities cre-working height for the population with reach distances ate a strong internal support infrastructure. The infra-minimized. structure ensures that employees receive support when A working height that is too low will force awkward they take responsibility for improving their workplacepostures to handle the load on the conveyor. Training and practices. By combining this infrastructure withon proper lifting techniques will not alleviate the inher- effective employee ergonomics training, the result is aent design flaw in this workplace. strong and sustainable ergonomics program. x However, training is an important part of imple- Cathy White, CPE, is an industrial hygiene and personal safetymenting changes. Showing employees how to use specialist at the Dow Chemical Co. She holds a bachelor’s andnew equipment and explaining why it is important to master’s degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan. She has 11 years’ experience as anuse it properly to prevent injuries helps make sure the ergonomics and safety professional in managing ergonomicsequipment gets used. Workers need hands-on practice programs, conducting risk assessments and identifying controlswith new tools, equipment or work practices to make to manage the risks. 9 Interface 2011
  10. 10. sustainability By JessiCa ellisOn, m.s., Cpe, Csp & Danny nOu Integrating R ecent trends show workers’ compensation costs, improve morale and have a variety of other positive impacts on the company’s bot- tom line. However, challenges, such as a lack of fund-Ergonomics & that more ing, C-level (CEO, CFO, COO) attention and support companies are and overall government legislation have undermined the focusing on sus- effectiveness of ergonomic programs. By integrating tainability [also ergonomics into sustainability and repackaging successes Sustainability known as the from ergonomic programs, there is a huge opportunity corporate social for ergonomic professionals to capture attention in the responsibility boardroom. This visibility will help get programs and (CSR) initiative, solutions funded and will bring ergonomics into strategic 3P (People, boardroom discussions resulting in a more proactive pro- Planet, Profit) Triple Bottom Line or 3E (Equity, gram that will benefit employees and also the company’s Environment, Economy)], which emphasizes a balance triple bottom line. between people, planet and profit. In addition, the work- place has changed, in part due to sustainability, from dEFining sustainaBility employees working from the office to working from To understand ergonomics’ role in sustainability, it home or telecommuting and how buildings are designed is important to first understand the definition of sustain- so companies can create Leadership in Energy and ability since it is often used as a catchall buzz word. Environmental Design (LEED)-certified buildings. Sustainability has been defined by many people. James Ergonomics programs need to start thinking outside Hagan, Ph.D., M.S., provided a concise definition at of the box about their value so that they leverage the the National Ergonomics Conference and Exposition in momentum created by sustainability. Based on these 2008 as “Allowing future generations to have the same trends occurring in industry, it is evident that there is standard of living that we enjoy while improving the tremendous global momentum in corporate sustainability condition of the current generation” (NECE, 2008). and that ergonomics fits right into the people aspects of The key concepts of sustainability revolve around the the people/planet/profit or triple bottom line. 3Ps: people, planet and profit. The first concept within Corporate ergonomists and ergonomic consultants sustainability is people, which includes the ethics of understand the value of the work they provide to a how workers and the community are treated. It includes company. They understand that they are helping reduce ideals, such as basic human rights and avoiding child injuries and decrease discomfort and in the process can labor, and labor issues, such as providing a safe work- improve productivity, decrease lost work days, decrease place that minimizes safety and health hazards, valuing 10 Interface 2011
  11. 11. diversity and philanthropy. On the planet portion, we see One more example is that the IRS reported real estatebusinesses taking responsibility for the lifecycle of their savings of $585,000 for a pilot telecommuting programproducts, from the raw materials to stewardship in prod- of 150 participants (Telework Exchange, 2007).uct use to ultimate disposal. There is also an emphasis on Another benefit of sustainability is that companiesreducing externalities (unintended costs) and minimiz- that practice the principles have a higher ability to recruiting resource use (water, electricity, gas and packaging). and retain top-level talent for their companies. A surveyFinally, the profit section, which emphasizes jobs and by shows that 92% of Generationgrowth, cost reduction and green products, is shown to Y employees (people born between 1977 and 2002)be impacted in a positive way by using fewer resources are more likely to work for environmentally friendlyand by creating less waste. company. Also, Adecco USA’s 2008 Workplace Insight Survey showed that Generation Y workers are willing sustainaBility is hErE to stay to sacrifice about 6% of their salary to work for a green Why is sustainability such an important trend for company as opposed to a traditional one (Stika, 2010).ergonomists? This huge and growing trend is predicted These are just a few of the benefits that compa-to be here for a long time because the concept of creat- nies practicing sustainability have reported, which hasing economic value through environmental and social increased the popularity of sustain-impact has come to the forefront in businesses around ability among some of the strongestthe world. The “green” label has captivated corporate and most successful companies This huge andmindshare and corporate funding. On March 1, 2011,Hedge Funds Review (2011) showed that more than in the market today. Therefore, growing trend is programs that help fit within the$13 trillion has been invested globally in socially respon- sustainability movement also have predicted to besible companies that demonstrate strong sustainabilitypractices. the opportunity to grow and have a wide-ranging impact not only on the here for a long Investors are making an impact on the world by put-ting money into investments listed on the Dow Jones environment, but on their corporate time because the bottom line as well.Sustainability Indexes or the FTSE4Good or by invest- concept of creat-ing in socially responsible investment funds, like Calvert Ergonomics’ rolE inand Domini, who will only buy shares in socially sustainaBility ing economic valueresponsible companies. This is impacting decisions in Ergonomics has the ability to through environ-boardrooms around the world and driving change with- show value by having a direct andout having the stick of regulation. positive financial impact on a com- mental and social Corporations are even restructuring to organize forsustainability. Many Fortune 500 companies, such as pany’s bottom line and to affect impact has come the lives of people to create a moreGoogle, Verizon and Ikea, have their own corporate sus- sustainable work environment. to the forefront intainability officers (CSOs) and/or vice president of sus- Ergonomists need to know how totainability (Deutsch, 2007). The website, Green Business market their programs internally businesses aroundViews, notes that President Obama issued Executive and to take advantage of the sustain- the world.Order 13514, which “provides guidance to how govern- ability trend by making connec-ment agencies are to go green…[and] the order calls for tions where they exist in both programs. Following is athe installation of sustainability officer or committee” description of some of these links: people, CSR reports,(2010). The fact that sustainability is being given as LEED certification and telecommuting programs with amuch attention as the CEO, CFO or COO speaks to the discussion around what future links may be possible.importance of this movement to companies and to thelikely longevity of this trend. link 1: thE PEoPlE The most obvious link is between ergonomics and BEnEFits oF sustainaBility the sustainability component of people. Chris Patton, Sustainability is not only socially responsible, it pro- a past ASSE president, has stated that, “Safety shouldvides many benefits to companies that pursue and volun- be viewed as the cornerstone of the people component.tarily commit to the movement. The first example is the In this context, sustainability means implementing andmillions of dollars that have been saved from a variety of maintaining programs that keep people safe, facilitiessustainability efforts. intact, communities protected, supply chains secure and For example, Wal-Mart has shown that by improv- the organization’s mission uninterrupted. Sustainableing the fuel efficiency of its fleet by one mile per gal- organizations are, by definition, safe organizations,lon, it hopes to save approximately $35 to $50 million and we play a key role in ensuring that safety” (Patton,(MSNBC, 2007). Alcoa has implemented an energy 2010).reduction strategy and has already realized $20 million Even the pure definition of ergonomics shows thein savings (Alderton, 2008). The cost estimates saved link between ergonomics and people. For example, thefrom this procedure have led to savings in the millions. International Ergonomics Association (IEA) defines 11 Interface 2011
  12. 12. within an organization, and a few companies have reported not only their energy efficiency and envi- ronmental and philanthropy achievements, but also their ergonomic and employee wellness programs to increase corporate transparency and to show the link between ergonomics and sustainability. CSR reporting promotes socially responsible businesses to be con- cerned about public interest by voluntarily eliminating practices that harm human health and the environ- ment, even when those practices are perfectly legal. Nintendo of America reported in its CSR report that it has an Ergonomic Task Force, which focuses on annual training and assessment of fixed and non- fixed workstations (Nintendo, 2010). Another com- pany, Hormel Foods, reported in its CSR report that injury prevention was a key focus in its ergonomic programs and even went as far as to show the soft- tissue incident rate and its steady decline year over year (Hormel Foods, 2010). There are more examples, but the clear message is that companies’ sustainabil- ity program and ergonomic program both focus on employees and their well-being. link 3: lEEd cErtiFications Currently, more than 40,000 projects currently par- ticipate in commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, which comprise all 50 states and 117 coun- tries (USGBC, 2011). Dr. Alan Hedge, director of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory at Cornell University, is also an IEA representative for environ- mental design and a Cornell Center for Sustainable Safety should be ergonomics (or human factors) as “the scientific disci- Futures Faculty Fellow. He has already outlined a way viewed as the to use ergonomics to get one point as an “Innovation in cornerstone of the pline concerned with the understanding of interactionspeople component. among humans and other elements of a system and Design” or “Innovation in Operations” credit.In this context, sus- the profession that applies theory, principles, data and A good ergonomic design is one that creates and tainability means maintains a flexible ergonomic environment that prop- implementing and methods to design to optimize human well-being and maintaining pro- overall system performance. Ergonomists contribute to erly accommodates building users and promotes healthy, grams that keep the design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, products, envi- comfortable and productive work. The requirement for people safe. this point involves the development and implementa- ronments and systems in order to make them compatible with the needs, abilities and limitations of people” (IEA tion of “a comprehensive ergonomics strategy that will 2000). have a positive impact on human health and comfort Some companies and organizations, such as Xerox when performing daily activity for at least 75% of full- and Univar and many others, have listed safety on their time equivalent building users” (Cornell, 2011). In an external websites stating their commitment to safety. e-mail communication with Hedge in April 2011, he Xerox says, “Xerox creates safe and efficient prod- noted in the next version of LEED due out at the end of ucts, maintains a safe workplace for our people, sup- November 2012, that “office ergonomics is a separate ports health and wellness programs and reduces injury line item credit point in the indoor environment section and exposure to hazardous materials” (Xerox, 2010). of the rating system.” What is great for companies that People’s safety is on the forefront of any good sustain- already have an established ergonomic program is that ability program protecting a company’s most valuable they simply need to document their efforts and possibly asset. Ergonomics works directly with people to help make a few small changes in the program to be able support a safe working environment that enables compa- to qualify for this point. This is a great opportunity for nies to reduce injuries. ergonomists to start getting involved in the design phase and to become more strategic and proactive to prevent link 2: corPoratE sustainaBility injury rather than reactively dealing with employees rEsPonsiBility (csr) rEPorts once injured, as outlined in Hedge’s article on “The CSR reports show the results of sustainability efforts Sprouting of ‘Green’ Ergonomics” (Hedge, 2008). This 12 Interface
  13. 13. point further strengthens the role of ergonomics in sup- A possible link also exists between ergonomics andporting sustainability initiatives and focusing on environ- “green” products for items purchased to achieve goodmental awareness. ergonomics. As ergonomists, we should be aware of the company policy and expectations and be aware of the link 4: tElEcommuting Programs environmental impact we make when recommending Telecommuting is often a centerpiece of corporate products.sustainability programs. CNN Money’s report on “The Another possible link is to lean manufacturing, ergo-Best 100 Companies to Work for” showed that 82% of nomics and sustainability. Ergonomics can improvethese companies allow employees to telecommute at cycle time and lean metrics, which in turn drivesleast 20% of their time with the top 5 companies hav- improved safety and profit. Some great technologies areing 80% to 86% regular telecommuters (CNN Money, also available on the market today to help streamline2011). These programs have shown to reduce the carbon the efficiency of ergonomic and sustainability programs,footprint of companies and to increase productivity at the such as Remedy Interactive and Hara. In the future, theresame time. may be an opportunity to bring these two technologies The disadvantage to telecommuting is that the ergo- together into one platform for ease of use, reporting andnomic risks for computer-based employees are the same the risks found when employees work from the cor- For example, the tool may be able to help home officeporate office. Many companies have not established a workers set up their workstation ergonomically and helpsystem to address ergonomic concerns or are struggling capture the true carbon footprint ofwith a cost-effective method to address ergonomics the company by collecting data onin remote and home offices. However, workers’ com- the number of commute miles saved Ergonomics initia-pensation and OSHA/European Union regulations stillapply when working outside of the corporate office so and energy and water use and may tives have many influence sustainable practices in theit is important for companies to establish programs that home. parallels with sus-address ergonomics in telecommuting programs. Manyagencies and groups already recommend that ergonom- conclusion tainability goalsics be included in the telecommuting policy, such asEPA, Telecommute Connecticut!, Microsoft Business, In summary, ergonomics initia- tives have many parallels with sus- and can functionCity and County of San Francisco and many others. tainability goals and can function effectively as an effectively as an integrated program link 5: Ergonomic associations rather than two distinct programs. integrated program The last point is that ergonomic associations, such Ergonomists should start by making rather than twoas the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) an effort to find out who leads sus-and IEA already see the link between ergonomics and tainability at their company. Start by distinct programs.sustainability and have established groups dedicated to making an introduction, sharing thisthe integration of ergonomics into environmental design. article with them and discussing possible common goals.According to HFES’s website, the overall objective of You might find that some of these links will be intrigu-HFES’s Environmental Design Technical Group is “to ing to sustainability leaders, and they will be interestedfoster and encourage the integration of ergonomic prin- in anything that will help support their goals as well. Theciples into the design of all built environments” (HFES, industry is changing to a “greener” world, and sustain-2011). IEA’s Human Factors and Sustainable Develop- ability offers a huge opportunity for ergonomists to assistment Technical Committee intends “to build a powerful sustainability efforts and to reap the benefits of beingglobal network of experts in the fields of ergonomics/ allied with such a strong and well-funded movement.human factors and sustainability” (IEA, 2011). The goal The authors would love to hear about further ideasis to again bring ergonomics out of the reactionary mode readers may have on future links and thoughts on thisand into the design stages of projects to reduce or elimi- article. Please feel free to contact them with any ques-nate risk prior to construction. tions or comments. x FuturE links rEFErEncEs This seems to just be the beginning of the link Alderton, M. (2008). The ROI of sustainability.between ergonomics and sustainability. Other ideas Retrieved May 31, 2011, from the link could be made include employee recruit- blog/2008/08/24/roi-sustainability.ment and retention. It seems like a clear connection CNN Money. (2011). Best benefits: Telecommuting.could be made with recruitment and retention if employ- Retrieved May 13, 2011, from were offered comfortable workstations designed magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2011/benefits/telecom-with ergonomic principles in mind. Why not offer this a benefit and publish the information in the CSR Cornell University Ergonomics Web. (2011). “Green”report and on the benefits page of the corporate website? ergonomics requirements worksheets and survey. 13 Interface
  14. 14. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from http://ergo.human.cornell. 2011, from php?storyId=129406588. Deutsch, C.H. (2007, Jul. 3). Companies giving green Nintendo. (2010). Nintendo corporate social responsi-an office. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from http://www. bility report. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from Green Business Views. (2010). The most secure Patton, C. (2010). ASSE president’s blog:green job in America. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from Sustainability and safety. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from safety.html. Hedge Funds Review. (2011). Ethical investment Stika, N. (2010). Sustainability drives recruitment andhits $11 trillion. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from http:// retention. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from Your%20Business/Sustainability%20Drives%20 Hedge, A. (2008, Dec.). The sprouting of “green” Recruitment%20and%20Retention.aspx.ergonomics. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from http://ergo. Telework Exchange. (2007). Resource center, stories. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from http://archive.tele- Hormel Foods. (2010). 2010 Hormel Foods corporate report. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from U.S. Green Building Council. (2011). List of top 10 states for LEED green buildings released. Retrieved Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES). May 13, 2011, from Environmental design technical group. List%20of%20Top%20Ten%20States%20for%20Retrieved May 13, 2011, from LEED%202011.pdf.TechnicalGroups/EDTG.pdf. Xerox. (2010). The 2010 report on global citizenship. International Ergonomics Association (IEA). (2000). Retrieved May 13, 2011, from is ergonomics? Retrieved May 13, 2011, from about-xerox/citizenship/enus.html. Jessica Ellison, M.S., CPE, CSP, is a member of ASSE’s Sanhtml. Francisco Chapter and incoming chapter secretary. She is a IEA. (2011). Human factors and sustainable develop- principal consultant at Environmental and Occupational Riskment. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from Management, a consulting firm headquartered in San Jose, CA.browse.php?contID=hf_and_sustainable_dev. She holds an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering (Biomechanics) from the University of California-Davis and has extensive experi- MSNBC. (2007). Wal-Mart on track to cut truck fuel ence in analyzing and implementing effective solutions for office,use by 25%. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from http://www. laboratory and manufacturing Danny Nou is an Ergonomics Specialist for Environmental and National Ergonomics Conference and Exposition. Occupational Risk Management in Laguna Hills, CA. He was(2008). The role of ergonomics in green design and sus- a lead biomechanics researcher in the biomedical engineeringtainability. Keynote speech delivered on Dec. 5, 2009. department at Hokkaido University. Nou holds B.S. and M.S National Public Radio. (2010). Outsourced call degrees in Biological Systems Engineering from the University ofcenters return, to U.S. homes. Retrieved March 1, California-Davis. The Future of EPS A SSE and the Ergonomics Practice Specialty (EPS) would like to thank the following mem- bers who have volunteered to serve on the advi- • embership M Development: Scott Valorose sory committee for 2011-12. We thank you all for •Nominations: Open your time and dedication to EPS and to the safety •Web: Open community. • pecialProjects: S •Administrator: Jeremy Harris Open •Assistant Administrator: David Brodie If you would like to •Publication Coordinator: Walt rostykus get more involved and •Awards Honors: Pam Perrich work with this great •Body of Knowledge: Cindy roth group of volunteers, •Conferences Seminars: Lawrence Schulze click here. Ben Amick 14 Interface
  15. 15. obEsity By Winnie iP, CpeThe Growing Problemin Ergonomics: ObesityT he prevalence of obesity in the U.S. continues to climb, exceeding 30% in most gender and Figure 1 BMI Chart With age groups. Over the past decade, medical costs Classification Systems associated with obesity have also sky-rocketedand are now $147 billion annually, representing almost10% of all medical spending (CDC, 2009). Much of these costs are due to the fact that obesity(defined as a body mass index (BMI) of greater than30, CDC) is also a risk factor for a variety of chronicconditions, including diabetes, hypertension, heartdisease and arthritis. So what does this mean from anergonomist’s perspective? It means we cannot continueto ignore this issue and act like it is the “elephant in theroom.” Ergonomics can actually have a positive impacton addressing issues that obese and bariatric individu-als may face in the workplace, in addition to the grow-ing number of injuries that healthcare providers face interms of safe patient handling with a larger population. Body mass indEx (Bmi) BMI stems from the Quetelet Index, which wasoriginally developed between 1830 and 1850 byAdolphe Quetelet, a Belgian mathematician/statistician.BMI is calculated using the individual’s body weightdivided by the square of his or her height (unit of mea-sure kg/m2). BMI can also be determined using a BMIchart (Figure 1), which displays BMI as a function of Source: WHO, 2011weight (horizontal axis) and height (vertical axis) usingcontour lines for different values of BMI or colors for prevalence of obesity less than 20% (CDC, 2009).different BMI categories. Thirty-three states had prevalence equal to or greater Several government and health organizations use than 25%; nine of these states (Alabama, Arkansas,BMI to classify individuals as “overweight” and Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma,“obese” in adult populations (CDC, National Institutes Tennessee and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obe-of Health, WHO). BMI categories can vary from coun- sity equal to or greater than 30% (CDC, 2009). Figuretry to country; however, in 1998, the U.S. National 2 shows the shift in U.S. obesity prevalence from 1985Institutes of Health aligned BMI categories with those to 2009.defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). The World Health Organization 2008 projections Bmi as an indicator For oBEsity:indicate that globally: a good mEasurE? •approximately 1.5 billion adults, over the age of 20, The popularity of using BMI as an indicator for obe-were overweight; sity stems from research conducted in the 1970s. Keys, •of these, more than 200 million men and nearly 300 et al. (1972) found BMI to be the “best proxy for bodymillion women were obese; fat percentage among ratios of weight and height” •WHO further projects that by 2015, approximately and explicitly cited BMI as appropriate for popula-2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 tion studies and inappropriate for individual diagnosis.million will be obese. However, due to the simplicity of the equation, BMI During the past two decades, there has been a has since become the “norm” to measure a person’smarked increase in obesity in the U.S. In 2009, “fatness” or “thinness” and has been widely adopted inonly Colorado and the District of Columbia had a individual diagnoses. 15 Interface 2011
  16. 16. Table 1 which is a clear indicator of obesity level. BMI Categories Sample Weights —It makes no allowance for the relative proportions of bone, BMI Range Weight of a 5 ft 11 in Person With muscle and fat in the body. Category (kg/m2) This BMI —A high BMI does not mean an individual is even overweight, Severely less than 16.0 Less than 118 lbs let alone obese. It could mean the underweight person is fit and healthy, with very Underweight from 16.0 to 18.5 Between 118 and 132 lbs little fat. Normal from 18.5 to 25 Between 130 and 178 lbs •Science Daily: “BMI Not Accurate Indicator of Body Fat, Overweight from 25 to 30 Between 180 and 214 lbs New Research Suggests” (2007) Obese Class I from 30 to 35 Between 210 and 249 lbs —Article based on research published in the official journal of Obese Class II from 35 to 40 Between 250 and 286 lbs the American College of Sports Obese Class III over 40 Over 290 lbs Medicine. —A research team fromSource: WHO, 2011 Michigan State University and In more recent years, BMI has come under scru- Saginaw Valley State University tiny and is a controversial topic among researchers measured the BMI of more than 400 college students— and health care professionals. Sample articles and key some of whom were athletes and some not—and found points include: that in most cases, the student’s BMI did not accurately •CNN Health: “Can Neck Measure Indicate Body reflect his or her percentage of body fat. Fat Better Than BMI?” (2010) —BMI does not distinguish between body fat and The environment —Article based on research by muscle mass. Olubukola, et al. (2010) published may also have an in the journal Pediatrics. causEs consEquEncEs —A wide neck circumference impact on obesity. is associated with obesity-related oF oBEsity The primary cause of obesity and being overweightPeople interact with conditions, such as sleep apnea, is an imbalance between calories consumed and calo- diabetes and hypertension. Neck several different circumference has been explored ries expended (WHO, 2009).attributable to many fac- (2009), global increases are According to WHO environments. In in studies for potential obesity and tors, including: heart problems in adults. •a global shift in diet toward increased intake of the home, people —One of BMI’s shortcomings is energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars, but may choose to do that it “does not accurately define low in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients; and central body fatness.” •a trend toward decreased physical activity due to activities that do —Studies have shown that the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of not lead to caloric regionalthe midsection,collected a around adiposity, fat is often work, changing modes of transportation and increasing urbanization. expenditure, such good indicator for obesity-related The environment may also have an impact on obe- complications, including hyperten- sity. People interact with several different environ- as watching televi- sion, diabetes and heart disease. ments. In the home, people may choose to do activities sion and other sed- The correlation high neckregional that do not lead to caloric expenditure, such as watch- adiposity and a between circum- ing television and other sedentary behaviors. Schools entary behaviors. ference was found to be strong. also impact children; they dictate lunch menus and •National Public Radio: “Top 10 how much physical activity children get throughout the Reasons Why the BMI is Bogus” (2009.) day. The type of work that a person does may affect —Keith Devlin of Stanford University suggests any the amount of physical activity, for instance, sitting obesity findings based on BMI should be taken with a expends less than 720 calories over 8 hours, whereas grain of salt. heavy work, such as construction, can expend around —Quetelet said explicitly that it could not and 2,400 to 3,600 calories over 8 hours (Sanders, 1993). should not be used to indicate the level of fatness in an Finally, the community may affect people’s choices individual. about exercise and food. The availability of nutritious —There is no physiological reason to square a per- low-calorie food will influence the type of diet avail- son’s height in BMI. Moreover, it ignores waist size, able for an individual. 16 Interface 2011
  17. 17. Genes may also play a role in obesity. Some scien- to 22%), shoulder adduction (~36 to 39%), trunk exten- tific evidence indicates that people may have a higher sion (22%) and trunk lateral flexion (~18 to 20%). risk of becoming obese based on their family history A person’s abdomen may also be an obstruction, (CDC, 2009). Many studies have been done on obese thereby limiting the reach distance at a work surface. populations and obese families. In general, these This could also influence working postures. Because of studies have shown that a sizable portion of weight the limited reach envelope, the individual may need to variation can be explained because of genetic factors. compensate with other parts of their body (e.g., shoul- Narrowing these factors is the current challenge for der abduction, trunk flexion). It is important to note researchers and scientists. that these limitations exist for both seated and standing People classified as overweight or obese face many workstations. health consequences. Scientists have produced the first direct evidence that fat accelerates aging. Valdes, et al. Physiology (2005) found that obesity (BMI 30) adds the equiva- Excess fat increases the oxygen requirements lent of nearly 9 years of age to a person’s body. This for any given task performed (Wood, et al., 2010). can begin to explain why obese children are develop- Therefore, there is a larger physiological deficit ing adult-onset Type 2 diabetes between ages 10 and for those who are overweight or obese. This may 19 (as opposed to age 45 which has been the norm). reduce the endurance time for this segment of work- Other health consequences include: ers. Fatigued workers may show increases in quality •coronary heart disease; defects or lower production rates. Resting heart rates •type 2 diabetes; are also higher for obese individuals, which can affect •certain cancers (endometrial, breast and colon); physical work capacity. It can also lead to adverse car- •hypertension; diac outcomes in the long run, such as heart disease. •dyslipidemia (high cholesterol, high triglycerides); •stroke; kEy workPlacE •liver and gallbladder disease; dEsign guidElinEs •sleep apnea and respiratory problems; We can take a proactive approach to address some •osteoarthritis; of the particular challenges obese workers face by •gynecological problems (abnormal menses, keeping in mind the following design guidelines: infertility). •Keep things close. For obese individuals, keeping Physiological EFFEcts oF things close (i.e., within arm’s reach) becomes even oBE Range of Motion (ROM) more important since excess body weight can increase Obesity depending on the level and distribution of the forces and loads placed on the spine. Design worksta- adipose tissue can affect range of motion (Park, et al., tions and processes to ensure that items are placed within 2010). Overweight and obese individuals do not have 16” from the edge of the work surface. If items must be as much flexibility in their hips or in their back. This placed further than the recommended 16”, minimize the means that obese individuals may have more trouble time spent in sustained postures at this distance. reaching objects. Park, et al. (2010) found significant •Keep it in the comfort zone. Obese individuals are differences between obese and non-obese groups; more prone to back and knee injuries from excess body decreased range of motion for shoulder extension (~20 weight so keeping all work tasks within the comfort Figure 2 U.S. Obesity Prevalence in 1985 Versus 2009Source: CDC, 2009 17 Interface 2011